Gunna’s “Bread & Butter” Lyrics Meaning

“Bread & Butter”, which was released through Theory Entertainment, 300 Entertainment and Young Stoner Life Records on 2 June 2023, marks Gunna’s first single since he was released from jail, after doing roughly six months in late 2022.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Gunna's Bread & Butter at

During that time he was locked up under Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations or RICO charges, which are very serious allegations in which he faced at least a couple of decades of incarceration. 

Indeed, throughout his imprisonment Gunna was reportedly denied bond four times. So for a moment there things were looking really dire for the rapper, until he unexpectedly accepted a plea deal in December plead guilty to just one charge, resulting in a sentence of five years, of which one has already been served, and the other four being suspended so long as he meets certain community service and probation requirements.

That of course ended up being a sweet deal for the rapper, one that can be considered a success on the part of his legal team. The problem though is that in order to get off easy like, Gunna had to admit, in court, that YSL, aka Young Stoner Life, is “a gang”, i.e. a criminal organization besides being a record label. 

In making that statement he more or less incriminated the other co-defendants, most notable amongst them being Young Thug, Gunna’s label boss, homey and regular collaborator who was arrested at the same time but still remains locked up as of this writing, over a year later.

The Snitch

So now, the issue at hand for Gunna is that in taking that deal he has been labeled a snitch, which is a cardinal sin in the world of hip-hop. Countless figures have chimed in on the matter, some to his defense but most lambasting his actions, including the likes of Young Thug’s lawyer, who basically implied that Gunna incriminated Thugga in the name of saving his own behind. 

Indeed, the backlash was so strong, as to expected, that some were even speculating the rapper would no longer be accepted in hip-hop circles. But as illustrated with the recent case of Tekashi 6ix9ine, who was likewise labeled a snitch, street ideology doesn’t dictate the actions of the music industry.

That said, upon taking the plea deal Gunna argued, via a somewhat convoluted statement, that he never did anything wrong. And he has taken that complex-defensive stance into “Bread & Butter”, which is why this song has generated so many headlines upon release, i.e. being the rapper’s response to this controversial and trending matter.

Bread & Butter

The Chorus of “Bread & Butter”

The chorus, to some degree, comes off as the type we would always expect from the likes of Gunna, such as the vocalist seemingly threatening to kill opps who “talk so much”. But instead of bragging about riches this time around, he admits that the “lost mad commas”, which reads like the rapper’s way of saying that his recent legal woes have cost him a lot of money.

But interestingly all things considered, the main subject matter of the passage appears to be loyalty. That is to say that in closing out the chorus, Gunna implies that his recent trials and tribulations weeded out his “real partners” from the fake, i.e. those who were rolling with him just ‘because he had dollars’.

“Goin’ all out when it’s ’bout that bread and butter
They’ll kill for clout, I put that on my dead brother, yeah
He talk so much, I showed him I’m a real hunter
Won’t say it, but he know I still got real cutters, yeah
Yeah, I’m right back and I lost mad commas
I had been down bad inside a dark tunnel, yeah
F–k them boys, I found out who my real partners
And who was only with me ’cause I had dollars”

Also to note, he does mention the title from the onset. The phrase “bread and butter” colloquially points to one’s livelihood. And what Gunna seems to be saying in that regard is that he and his people do what they have to do in order to make it in the world, including “kill(ing) for clout” if need be. And in that later regard he swears by his “dead brother”, who reportedly died in 2006.

Verse 1

As far as the aforenoted headlines are concerned, it’s really the first verse which has drawn a lot of attention from media outlets, as some analysts feel Gunna utilizes it to diss a couple of well-known rappers. 

The vocalist sets the passage off by referring to his integrity, i.e. the notion that he has “always stayed solid”, “honest”, “kept it real with n*ggas” and loves his brethren “so much”. Reading in-between the lines, Gunna is asserting that he isn’t actually a snitch but to the contrary has always adhered to an opposing ideology, one of undying loyalty to his people.

The vocalist then follows those statements up by pointing out that he has ‘hustled on his own’, and ‘they ain’t give him sh*t’. Or put otherwise, Gunna presents himself as a self-made success story, someone who should be giving props for having ‘come from the damn bottom’ as opposed to facing the type of criticism he is today.

And it is such criticism that he harps on next, warning those who are out ‘speaking on his name’ – i.e. talking sh*t about him – and further asserting that they’re not even on his level to bring it like that. 

It is then that Gunna dedicates a few bars to dissing, as has been ascertained by some listeners, Lil Baby.  The two are longtime collaborators, both being YSL signees who came up in the industry together. 

But the prevailing theory is that Lil Baby offended Gunna by unfollowing him on Instagram shortly after he took that plea deal.

Is Gunna really dissing Lil Baby?

It could be possible. However, that’s just one of the people he is possibly referring to, because again, Gunna was criticized by many for taking that deal. Indeed, Gunna goes on to state that said individual, who “switched on” him, also had him as “the topic of the chat”. And Lil Baby, as far as we can tell, never said anything negative about Gunna that has been documented in a chat. 

But whoever this individual(s) may be, Gunna seems to imply that he is a hypocrite and/or coward, or something to that effect. The thing with these types of rap songs is that since so much real-life criminal activity and potentially life-threatening beef is involved, there’s only so much that the vocalist can say directly.

Perhaps the most notable figure to outright label Gunna “a rat” would be Chi-town rapper Lil Durk. So what analysts have also hypothesized is the latter part of the first verse being dedicated to responding to Durko. 

And what Gunna is basically saying in that regard is that certain people are damning his name for clickbait, to generate streaming sales or what have you. But he seems to conclude the passage overall by implying that all parties involved should focus on the main goal, which presumably would be making money, as opposed to these distractions.

Verse 2

But it’s really in the second verse whereas Gunna goes about defending his legal decisions. And to make a long story short, he argues that no one should judge him unless they’ve been in his shoes. 

Indeed, according to the rapper, his lawyers cost millions of dollars. And they proceeded to do what they were paid to do in terms of getting him out of jail.

But that said, Gunna goes on to argue that didn’t snitch, i.e. “never gave no statement or agreed to take no stand on them”, which is the same position he has held since taking the plea deal. And he further goes on to claim that the “lawyers and the DA”, i.e. district attorney, “did some sneaky sh*t”, i.e. tricked him into incriminating his co-defendants.

Gunna then goes on to reveal, in his own special way, that he’s very much aware that there’s people out there dissing him. And as the vocalist puts it, he “can get” such individuals “hit” if he so desires. 

And interestingly, the recently-incarcerated rapper continues to support that notion, basically threatening his naysayers, even those in different parts of the country, with the possibility of getting unexpectedly run up on. 

Or as sorta implied, the reason Gunna isn’t taking a more directly-confrontational stance is because the law now firmly has its eye on him. But that said, he does go about ending the verse by implying that the people he’s really pissed at are his own homeys, those whom he fed even who then turned on him when he was down.

In Conclusion – Long and Short of “Bread & Butter”

In taking that plea deal and saving himself from doing who knows how many years in prison, Gunna made the decision that practically any one of us would under those circumstances. 

The problem though is that first of all, if YSL is in fact a gang, based on related ideologies you are not supposed to say anything in court that can harm the case of another member. Secondly, mainstream rap music itself is, to a large degree, gang-related, reflecting the beliefs of disenfranchised African-American street culture, which dictates that snitching is a no-no.

So it is very much likely that Young Thug does not approve of Gunna’s aforenoted testimony. But as for  Gunna himself, he contends that, in the grand scheme of things, he didn’t do anything wrong. And to note, in terms of him ‘taking no stand’, there is the possibility that Gunna will be called back to court to directly testify against Young Thug and the other YSL members who are still in hot water. 

But his lawyer has already stated that if that were to happen, the rapper will plead the Fifth, i.e. refuse to speak out under the rationale that doing so would also incriminate himself.

3 Responses

  1. DBK DruiD 6TN✪ says:

    By far you given the best explanation to this whole sh**. Big ups

  2. Lamz 30 says:

    Gunna ain`t snitchin he love em

  3. Lilsufer says:

    Let gunna live his own life,cause his shoes aren’t ours

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